Students need a quiet, inspiring space in which to focus on their academics. Whether your student is in class, writing essays, reviewing notes, or studying for a test, his or her study space must be conducive to contemplating, writing about, and absorbing large amounts of academic material. Setting up a good space for your student is even more important if they are part of a rigorous online academic program. Following are 5 must-haves for your student’s study space, also known as his or her intellectual growth command center!
1. A quiet(er) area of your home
– If it can be a separate room or office area, that is ideal. However, don’t worry if space is limited…get creative! You can choose a quiet corner of a common living space or even put up a makeshift partition. The goal is a space that is set apart for your student’s studies, but, if that is not completely possible, noise-canceling headphones will help him or her to stay focused.
2. A desk/table and comfortable chair
– This is fairly straightforward. A regular or sit-stand/standing desk or table will do. If options are limited, even a clean, quiet end of a kitchen table or countertop can work. There should be at least enough space for a laptop (vital for online learning), a notebook and writing utensils, and a lamp. The chair needs to be comfortable and supportive enough for longer periods of sitting and focused class/study time. Regardless of where the workspace and furniture are located, ensuring there is sufficient quiet and room for your student to focus and spread out while studying is key.
3. Lighting is everything
– Your student will need a lamp on or near the study surface and/or bright overhead lighting. If strong natural light comes in through a window and it works to place your student’s workplace near it, that can work, too. However, during evening study or class time, they will need other bright sources of light. On a related note, something else to consider is blue light glasses or a blue light computer screen cover to protect your student’s eyes if they are on the computer for long periods.
4. Simple organizational and motivational items
– Think about the simple things your student needs to help them stay organized and functioning well. If he or she is super techy, many tools like sticky notes, calendars, etc. are available right on the laptop. If he or she is more old-school, you can place physical versions of these items on the wall or desk. You can also place some motivational posters, art, figurines, and/or other items on the wall or desk to remind your student what they are passionate about and make the study space inviting, inspiring, and personalized. However, limit clutter to prevent distraction and stress. Lastly, don’t forget a great refillable water bottle and healthy snacks for your growing student who will be using much brain power every day!
5. Supportive family members
– Though you will not be in your student’s space, studying and attending class with them, you and the rest of your household are of utmost importance to your student’s academic success. Perhaps you provide homework assistance or are a sounding board for his or her ideas. Maybe you simply lower your voice or tiptoe when you are passing by and he or she is focused on an assignment or online class. You might leave out encouraging notes or yummy snacks or cheer and coach him or her along on particularly challenging days. However you do it, never forget that, by being supportive, you are playing a huge role in your student’s success. A good study space is important, but an encouraging study environment is vital.
Gravitas is a global extension of The Stony Brook School (SBS), a renowned 100-year-old day and boarding school on Long Island, New York. Gravitas extends SBS’s extraordinary college preparatory and character education to students worldwide. Our excellent, caring, and supportive master teachers are available in and outside of our live-instruction classes to help students fulfill their potential and thrive academically and in life beyond. To learn more about enrolling your 7th-12th grader in Gravitas, submit an inquiry today.
By: Alyssa Orrantia Bieneme, Director of Admissions, Financial Aid, and College Counseling at Gravitas